INTERESTING LETTER FROM
A LOWCA MAN AT
LABOUR PROSPECTS IN SOUTH
Mr. George WALKER, formerly of Lowca, writes as follows to the Rev. A. F. CURWEN, Harrington:-
Johannesburg, Sept. 26th, 1902.
Reverend Sir, - I am very glad to inform you that I am now in good work and the best of health. After my arrival at Capetown I had to wait a little over a fortnight before I received my permit for here. Mining is only very dull here at present, owing to the scarcity of native labour. Most of the mines are only working a single shift, and a great many are idle altogether. The men who are in the most demand are bricklayers and carpenters, owing to the great number of houses that are in course of erection. Trades that are used in connection with the mines, such as fitters, engine drivers, and miners, are a deal overcrowded at present.
There is a great rush to Barberton and Pietersbury by prospectors, as the Government have sanctioned a lot of land to be pegged out in claims, and there are reports that some very rich ground has been struck, but one can’t be too careful, as I doubt there will be too much company promoting.
We are having some lovely weather now as you know our spring is about here and the veldt is beginning to get its green coat on. If the capitalists of this country only give it a faor chance I have not a bit of doubt but it will become a prosperous country for many years to come. It has such splendid resources, but any attempt to lower wages below the level they existed at previous to the war, will cause strikes and trouble, and it would be the greatest pity to see the country thrown back by disputes between labour and capital.
My brother Joseph is at Pretoria and has good work and good health.